Author: Catherine Dioli
I look out at the water as I tap my pencil against the blank page. Why Monhegan Island? At the end of my senior year of high school, twelve students including myself and three teachers packed up our gear and headed for a week on Monhegan Island in Maine. This trip was the end to an amazing year, but the beginning of new friendships and adventures that made me come to a new realization about my classmates and myself. Throughout the week we explored the island, and wrote about our experiences there. We took hikes, and were quizzed on the native flowers and plants as we walked. We explored tidal pools, and had competition as to who could identify the most creatures. The boys did flips off the rocks into the ice-cold water, while I documented their exploits with photographs. Each moment brought us closer and closer together as a group. Every night, we would gather and read what we'd written that day aloud. This took a lot of courage. To trust others with your writing, is to expose yourself, to lay yourself bare. Though we had been classmates, we hadn't necessarily been friends or teammates. Sharing this time on Monhegan Island allowed us to develop a trust in one another without the worry of being judged. This group of students comprised a variety of different personalities, but by the end of our trip we had developed such bonds, that we felt as though we had been friends for a very long time. We trusted each other, not only with our journals and poetry, but with our lives as well, as we scaled cliffs on our hikes. We opened up to each other with no hesitation, and because of this it made the trip that much more fun. I got to spend time with people that I had not normally hung out with throughout my high school experience. When thinking back as to why I chose to go to Monhegan Island, there wasn't any one reason. I do recall that I wanted to get away from the stress of school and class work, allowing myself to get lost in time. I didn't want to worry about what was going on around me, I wanted to learn to live in the moment. I also wanted to trust in my writing. To believe that my ideas have meaning. Monhegan allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, and believe in myself. The trip would not have been so successful, were it not for the group. Our first day started out with twelve individuals, but ended with twelve friends. These friends have taught me to take chances and spend time with people I might not have typically associated with. People can learn so much about each other if they just take the time.